LeBron James isn’t known for his humility. Sure, lofty ambition drives glorious results, but was James just being cocky in guaranteeing gold in Beijing? In his cover story, TIME’s Sean Gregory was taken aback by his surefootedness:
Nothing gets the sports world in a tizzy quite like a guarantee. Those who deliver are divine, like Joe Namath; those who fail — and there are too many to mention — get blamed for foolishly firing up the opposition.
But LeBron had history on his side – before 2008, the U.S. had clinched 12 of 15 gold medals (excluding the boycotted 1980 games). Now, make that 13 out of 16. Indeed, in the end, LeBron took his talents to the medal stand.